New Delhi [India], Sep 28 (ANI): 16-time Grand Slam champion Todd Woodbridge on Friday expressed disappointment that Indian Tennis legends Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi could not play longer.

In an interview to ANI, the tennis legend, who kick-started the Australian Open Ball kids programme earlier in the day here at RK Khanna Tennis Complex, opined that if Paes and Bhupathi, also known as the “Indian Express” had played together for a longer period of time, they could have won many more accolades for India.

“One of my disappointments is that they (Paes and Bhupathi) didn’t play longer together, because I think they could have won many more majors. They were a great combination and it was unfortunate that they came in our time. I think they would have won an Olympic medal,” he noted.

The duo, considered to be one of the greatest Indian Tennis double’s pair, has won 25 ATP doubles titles together, including three Grand Slams, during their 16-year span.

As part of the Australian Open Ball Kids Programme, which was inaugurated by Woodbridge as part of the ongoing Australia Fest, 10 Indian children will get selected for the Grand Slam.

Shedding light on the same, Woodbridge said, “Australian Open has always been known as the grand slam of Asia Pacific. Our Tournament has grown and become more successful, so it has given us a chance to invest in different projects in Asia.”

Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner Rodd Hilton, who was also present at the event, opined that sports helps strengthen people-to-people relations.

“The link between sports and people-to-people relations are always court winning. I would say that Australia and India are best of friends, which is evident from events like these,” he added.

As a part of the Australia Fest, which commenced on September 18, 75 events will be organised across 20 cities in India, spread over a span of six months. (ANI)

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.